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The Song of Robin Hood Hardcover – August 28, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Sherwood Forest and admirers of the book arts will want to see Virginia Lee Burton's design and illustrations for Song of Robin Hood, edited by Anne Malcolmson, music arranged by Grace Castagnetta. First published in 1947 and now reissued, the Caldecott Honor-winning book contains 18 classic ballads of Robin Hood's deeds, set to traditional tunes and arranged with modern musical notations. Burton supplies a lapidary sequence of intricately detailed black-and-white vignettes, one for each stanza of the different ballads; her chapter openers and borders have the delicacy of scrimshaw carvings and the robustness of illuminated manuscripts. (Houghton, $20 128p ages 8-up ISBN 0-618-07186-5; Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Consider the effort put into this edition: Virginia Lee Burton invested three years drawing and Anne Malcolmson rediscovered fifteen original ballads that were then carefully notated by Grace Castagnetta. Complete with glossary, prepare to be a-swoon.
The author took time to detail the book's purpose in the preface. Read it. Once you understand the book's aim, you can judge it accordingly.
Originally published in 1947, Burton's illustrations stun -thwack!- like an arrow meeting its target. From the Caldecott website, "The Caldecott Medal "shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year...." In my opinion this book could win the Caldecott in the current year.
My one criticism, the smaller illustrations are too small, but to compensate the book would need enlargement. This is forgivable.
As I read through the pages I imagine how wonderful it would be for youth to perform a section complete with song.
Thank you Houghton Mifflin Co. for this treasure.
This book won the Caldecott honor in 1948, and I'm not sure why. The illustrations are not fantastic and for goodness sakes...the Caldecott books are supposed to be for small children!! This is a book composed of songs about Robin Hood. Some people thought it was great, not me.
We got about 4 pages in and my daughter said, "mom, do we have to read this one?" I was actually relieved. I don't know if i could have gotten through it.
It is 123 pages long and is fulled with actual songs about Robin Hood. Furthermore, most of the book is written using Old English vocabulary and grammar, i.e. whence, thrice, naught, bane, etc. I have read books that are based on music to my daughter, but we aren't talking about a book version of `The Wheels on the Bus.'
For some reason this book recieved the Caldecott Honor in 1948. I realize we are talking about a book that is 52 years old, but eh....it still was terrible.